Vega (used, 1925) Style M Tubaphone Tenor Banjo

Tag No 32-4420 Used

#62677, in very good condition, newer (slightly oversized) hard shell case.

This is a very fine sounding tenor banjo –it has a head diameter of 10 15/16” and a calf skin banjo head.   This banjo can be played either with the Vega wooden resonator affixed to have a meatier low-end or as an open back for a more balanced sound.   The close fitting pie sectioned resonator is slightly oversized, and fits in its newer hard shell case snug with the addition of a slim pillow under the resonator.

Other parts include original tuners (unbranded with ivoroid buttons), a cylindrical fixture that screws to the back of the wood dowel that holds the “Reg. U.S. Vega Pat. Off.” 8-slice pizza pie cut oversized flamed maple dish resonator with what we suspect is the original roundhead screw. This banjo has a two-piece flamed maple neck, having the black stripe up the back, a pearwood heel cap, an ebony, 17-fret total ivoroid bound fingerboard that hosts an acorn (or possibly a silhouette of Sally Field as the Flying Nun), a large star at the fifth, and the rest of the brood are dots – eight of them in 5 positions. The scale length is 21 1/8”, the stained pearwood or possibly rosewood headplate is inlaid with the 2 ¾” fern or vine, topped with a crown, and inlaid with the “VEGA” in block pearl letters.   We are pleased to note that this Tu-Ba-Phone has the “bracket band” surrounding the tortoise celluloid capped maple rim, so that there are no shoes and shafts penetrating its shell. The masculine Tu-Ba-Phone 32-hole tone ring is gleaming with freshness and barely controlled ebullience. The tensioner that holds dowel to neck joint and the cubical metal cover over the connection of dowel to tailpin area are original, as are the brackets, and the nuts.  The banjo also has a ”Bestone” brand armrest.

There is a single crack in the fretboard binding (at the 12th fret) and like many banjos of this age, it has some light fret wear.  The back of the neck shows some wear, especially behind the first four frets where some of the finish has worn away.  The neck and headstock also have normal light signs of use and wear including oxidation and aging on the metal parts overall.  The resonator shows normal light dings and signs of use.   The serial number is stamped into the north side of the dowel and also inside the rim (always nice when they match). This makes a fine tenor banjo for Celtic or jazz music, but it would also make a great conversion to five-string.


Our Price is $1,195.00.

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